AFTRA Ignores SAG’s Request To Delay Contract Vote

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The Screen Actors Guild says it was rebuffed when it asked the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to delay ratification of its tentative contract so that SAG—which is still negotiating for its own deal—could gain further benefits for its sister union.

The two unions have been feuding over turf and AFTRA negotiated for its members separately after it accused SAG of trying to poach members from AFTRA-represented soap operas. Now SAG, which is in the midst of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, alleges that the AFTRA deal is “a distraction” in its negotiations.

In a letter to SAG members, union president Alan Rosenberg (pictured) said that AFTRA members would benefit from a stronger SAG deal. He added his plea was “not about union politics” but using leverage to get the best deal. He alleged that AFTRA president Roberta Reardon and executive director Kim Roberts Hedgepeth opted against delaying a vote to approve the AFTRA contract.

Current deal points on the table, which Rosenberg said “were not achieved in the AFTRA deal,” are:

--more cost-of-living increases, such as the first mileage reimbursement increase in 30 years.

--the prevention of non-union new media productions.

--the right to consent to, and profit from, product integration.

-- payment of pension and health benefits on top of, instead of deducted from, DVD residuals.

SAG members are holding a solidarity rally at their headquarters in Los Angeles on June 9.

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